I'm new to Photoshop and was wondering how to achieve this sort of cartoon effect. I looked everywhere, youtube, blogs and stuff but still non were close to what I'm looking for. Look at the picture for clarity:

image from deviantart.com

I tried the following but didn't get what I was looking for:

Made a duplicate layer of the image and then Filter -> Sketch -> Stamp and after that multiply them.

Image -> Adjustment -> Posterize

Filer -> Sharpen -> Unsharp Mask

Using PS CS5 Extended.

Screenshots from my experiment: pic enter image description here

Is there any fast and better way of doing it? Thanks.

  • 2
    You could simply ask the creator how the art was generated. The image is from deviantart.com. In reality these types of images are hand drawn and not a result of "filters" in Photoshop. Based on comments at deviantart.. the image was hand drawn in Flash. Not everything has a "magic button" which will create it.
    – Scott
    Aug 26, 2014 at 16:36
  • He left no contact info and he last used his account in Oct'13
    – DeadPool
    Aug 27, 2014 at 18:32
  • But if you read the comments, he explains he drew it in Flash.
    – Scott
    Aug 27, 2014 at 18:33
  • NOTE: Further conversation is here.
    – DeadPool
    Mar 12, 2015 at 4:22

4 Answers 4


I'm pretty sure the image you'd like to recreate wasn't made using Photoshop filters of plugins. I think it was most likely created using vectors on adobe illustrator or created using some other sort of illustration. They won't have converted a photo to the cartoon style. They would have used the photo as just a guideline for their own separate minimalist illustration.

TLDR; It wasn't created using an effect. It's a separate illustration made from scratch and can't be replicated using Photoshop filters.

I'd suggest looking into digital illustration if you want to create something like that, but there's no fast or easy way of doing it.


I think you're trying to achieve a vector feel for your image, in which case, you would need to spend time creating vector from your original photo/artwork/design. Try Googling "vectorizing" or something similar and maybe you'll find what you're looking for.

It is impossible using Photoshop's adjustments to images, and in fact, I think, vectorizing is easier done with Illustrator, not Photoshop (Photoshop is for photo manipulation and raster images).


If you don't feel like learning Illustrator (it's a pain at first if you're only used to Photoshop but it's absolutely invaluable for making any kind of mass-reporoducible work), you can:

Open the original photo in PS, and think like a screen printer: make a new layer for each color , and using the pen tool, trace each solid color on the newly created layer, then fill that path, then create a new layer for next color on top the previous one, repeat. The look you want is just generalizing colors. instead of photorealistic color shift, the whole face is one skin tone, etc. You'll get the hang of it. A fun way to start is to take a headshot of yourself and practice on that.

  • That's exactly it, as weslangdon said....use the pen tool and trace each solid color in layers...
    – user46350
    Jul 6, 2015 at 19:17

I don't think you can achieve anywhere to that with plugin nor effect because that is illustration.

Only thing you can get closer would be build your image with simplicity.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.